All year round
Although the pressures and expectations of being a student at PHS can be taxing, some students choose to work a job in addition to meeting their academic responsibilities. Some of these jobs, such as a waiter in a restaurant or a salesman in a retail store, are year-round responsibilities. In many ways, these jobs can add to the amount of stress and anxiety in students’ lives but can also contribute to the growth of their characters.
Having the extra responsibility of showing up for work takes away from the already insubstantial amount of time that students have to socialize with friends, or participate in extracurricular activities such as sports or music, and forces them to complete their schoolwork in limited time.
However, with this obligation comes maturity, independence, and freedom. Holding a job provides students with a steady income that allows them more freedom in what they choose to do once they finish work. Many students find that having the resources to buy a new shirt or go out to dinner with friends with their own money is a liberating and enjoyable experience—well worth the extra responsibility of a job.
Some students see this as a financial opportunity to help their families make ends meet. Also, while some students find that the responsibility of a year-round job adds to the pressures of school, other students feel that holding a job can act as an escape from the stressful academic environment at PHS. Erin Forden ’14 said, “Having a job helped me realize that there’s more going on than just what’s in high school, and even though sometimes it was hard to juggle both, it’s sometimes nice to have something that’s completely separate from school.” Holding a job and having a non-school-affiliated responsibility has offered Forden a change of pace from the competitive environment in the PHS classroom.
Year-round jobs add a lot to high school students’ already full plates, but they can also provide for a more independent lifestyle. These jobs provide an experience of what the obligations and expectations of a real-world commitment are, separate from those of a student. by Jake Caddeau
As the weather gets nicer and the nostalgic memories of last year’s summer become a reality again, most high school students begin to devise ways to keep their summer stimulating. Although most students would first think of a commonly-romanticized, summer-specific job such as lifeguarding or camp counseling, a way for students to keep their brains active is to continue an academic experience outside of the classroom, by working in a lab or as an intern for a potential employer.
The summer after freshman year, Alex Ju ’16 served as an unofficial computing intern for the Princeton University Engineering Department, spending most of his summer days coding, wiring, and completing his own computer-controlled rail system. Requiring an intricate study of both physics and coding, Ju’s internship led him to spend most of his time indoors, shutting him off from most people during the day. However, he remained engaged with his project throughout the summer “because it was in a field [he] was genuinely interested in.” In this way, he was able to enjoy his summer despite being slightly isolated from his friends.
Being shut off from friends for most of the day, as Ju was, seems counterintuitive to the essence of warm weather and broad daylight of summer. However, at the sacrifice of most traditional summer activities can come the stimulation of interest in a future profession through summer research and internships. It may seem that two months are given up during periods of beautiful weather to work at an internship, but those two months may lead to a job or a new interest one never considered before. by Christian Chiang
Classic summer jobs are depicted in most movies, TV shows, and books as mundane. Ringing up orders, sitting in the sun lifeguarding, toting kids around everywhere as a counselor … The list goes on. Although everyone is familiar with what these jobs entail, chances are you’ll have your own unique experience if this sounds like your summer.
The beauty of summer jobs is that they can grant you just the amount of room needed to experience the freedoms and responsibilities of adulthood, while still being relaxing and fun. With tasks such as managing your money and making sure you arrive on time, summer is a great way to test the waters of adulthood. Adults don’t always get the opportunity to be picky about their job choices—it’s a tough economy, and sometimes it winds down to what’s available. Finding a summer job is similar; if you need the money or a place to spend your time, then you might not have the luxury of choice.
A classic summer job probably means that you will work somewhere like at a store in town, the local pool, or someplace where you are likely to run into people. If you are a social butterfly, then seeing or working with familiar faces can be perfect. A job that involves interpersonal interactions can improve valuable social skills. The more responsibility your job requires of you, the more you gain maturity. The financial boost is useful as well. Put in a reasonable amount of work, and in return, you will receive a steady amount of money. Even if it’s just minimum wage, it’s better than nothing. The best thing about summer jobs is that you can never anticipate what will happen, whom you will see, or what opportunity you will be presented with next. by Priya Vulchi